Educating Health Care Practitioners in Indonesia

Educating Health Care Practitioners in Indonesia

A report by Melissa Morales, CLAN Intern, 2016

In an interview with Dr. Agustini Utari, she revealed that the “endocrinology of CAH is not included in competency requirements for general practitioners [in Indonesia]”. Considering how many lives have been saved by the administration and education about Solucortef injection kits, it is astonishing to think about how young lives haven’t been rescued in time. It is crucial that the caretakers that these children meet can recognize symptoms of CAH and diagnose a child early, in order to provide proper education to parents.

 A big priority for Dr. Utari is the education of primary healthcare practitioners in her community, including midwives and prenatal healthcare providers. Dr. Utari has teamed up with psychologists in her area to research the level of education about Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia in Indonesia. She and her partners found that “about 70% of babies born in Indonesia live in the homes of midwives or in clinics cared by midwives”.With this information in mind, they set out to survey these midwives about the protocol they use to determine the sex of a newborn child. The research showed that “most patients with ambiguous genitalia are late identified… and about 50% of midwives didn’t know about ambiguous genitalia, which can cause an emergency situation in some cases”.

The next step, Dr. Utari says, is to “educate general practitioners in primary health care…especially in remote areas [because] there is no specialized practitioner at all; more education to primary health clinics about CAH is important”and can potentially save the life of a child in the midst of an adrenal crisis.